bad bye good bye

Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean

On a rainy day, a boy and his family are packing up the moving van and heading to live in a new town.  The little boy pulls at the boxes, tugs at the movers, and cries as they drive away leaving a friend behind.  As they head to their new home, gray clouds clear from the sky and the sun comes out.  Maps are pulled out, naps are taken, and the day brightens.  Night is spent at a motel with a pool and then the next evening they pull into their new town.  Everything is different and new, a new room with new views.  But there’s also a new kid, fireflies and the stars are out too. 

In only the briefest of rhyming couplets, Underwood paints a clear picture of the fear of moving and the emotional upheaval for children.  In their long drive though, the mood shifts to one of possibilities rather than grief.  Even the journey itself is a form of coping and healing that makes the happy ending feel like a natural result of the entire process. 

Bean’s art works so well here.  He uses a translucent feel to evoke the dreary rainy misty day that they move on.  But that same effect is used for the fumes of the traffic on the road, the speeding truck on a steep downhill slope, and the bluesy evening that they arrive.  The effect offers a lot of depth to the images, creating layers to explore visually.

A book on moving that shows that moving on with your life is also part of a major family move.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.